Berlinale: Programme

Film File


Grâce à Dieu

By the Grace of God

Gelobt sei Gott

Eric Altmayer (Producer), Aurélia Petit (Actress), Melvil Poupaud (Actor), François Ozon (Director, Screenwriter), Denis Ménochet (Actor), Swann Arlaud (Actor), Nicolas Altmayer (Producer)

Moderation: Maria Giovanna Vagenas

Press Conference at full length
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Alexandre lives with his wife and children in Lyon. One day he discovers by chance that the priest who abused him when he was a boy scout is still working with young people. Long repressed memories awaken. Distraught, Alexandre finally finds the courage to take action against the man. His search for further victims of the clergyman, who is highly respected in his office, leads Alexandre to François and Emmanuel. Each of these three men is struggling with himself in a different way. And each of them will have to do battle with the shadows of their past in order to cope with the far-reaching consequences of this process. The creation of the self-help organisation ‘La Parole Libérée’ (The Liberated Word) is just the first step.
Based on the real case of Father Bernard Preynat who in 2016 was charged with sexually assaulting around 70 boys in Lyon, François Ozon portrays the victims as adult men and reveals the lifelong wounds they have sustained. At the same time, the film criticises the church’s silence on paedophilia and asks about its complicity. As of January 2019, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin is standing trial for ‘non-denunciation of sexual aggression’.

François Ozon

France 2019


137’ · Colour


Melvil Poupaud (Alexandre Guérin)
Denis Ménochet (François Debord)
Swann Arlaud (Emmanuel Thomassin)
Éric Caravaca (Gilles Perret)
François Marthouret (Cardinal Barbarin)
Bernard Verley (Bernard Preynat)
Martine Erhel (Régine Maire)
Josiane Balasko (Irène)
Hélène Vincent (Odile Debord)
François Chattot (Pierre Debord)
Frédéric Pierrot (Captain Courteau)
Aurélia Petit (Marie Guérin)
Julie Duclos (Aline Debord)
Jeanne Rosa (Dominique Perret)
Amélie Daure (Jennifer)


Written and directed by
François Ozon
Director of Photography
Manu Dacosse
Laure Gardette
Evgueni Galperine, Sacha Galperine
Sound Design
Jean-Paul Hurier
Brigitte Taillandier, Benoît Gargonne, Jean-Paul Hurier
Production Design
Emmanuelle Duplay
Pascaline Chavanne
Natali Tabareau-Vieuille
Assistant Director
Alain Olivieri
David Bertrand, Anaïs Duran
Production Manager
Aude Cathelin
Eric Altmayer, Nicolas Altmayer


François Ozon

Born in Paris, France in 1967, this director and screenwriter studied at La Fémis film school and is now one of the most renowned filmmakers in his country. His work has already screened in the Berlinale Competition four times, with the ensemble cast of one of his most successful films, the comedy 8 femmes, winning the Silver Bear in 2002. In 2012 he was a member of the International Jury. He has made four films with Charlotte Rampling who this year is being presented with the Honorary Golden Bear for her lifetime achievement; Sous le Sable and Swimming Pool are both screening in the Homage.

Filmography (selection)

1998 Sitcom 1999 Les amants criminels (Ein kriminelles Paar) 2000 Gouttes d’eau sur pierres brûlantes (Tropfen auf heiße Steine) · Sous le sable (Unter dem Sand) 2002 8 femmes (8 Frauen) 2003 Swimming Pool 2004 5 x 2 (5 x 2 – Fünf mal zwei) 2005 Le temps qui reste (Die Zeit die bleibt) 2009 Ricky (Ricky – Wunder geschehen) · La refuge (Rückkehr ans Meer) 2010 Potiche (Das Schmuckstück) 2012 Dans la maison (In ihrem Haus) 2013 Jeune et Jolie (Jung & Schön) 2014 Une nouvelle amie (Eine neue Freundin) 2016 Frantz 2017 L'amant double (Der andere Liebhaber) 2019 Grâce à Dieu (Gelobt sei Gott)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019

Produced by

Mandarin Production

World sales